Whilst the Lega Nord has traditionally been defined as a regionalist populist party, since Matteo Salvini became its leader in 2013 it has undergone a process of profound ideological transformation. This article assesses this momentous change and the impact it could have on the future of the Lega, drawing on a content analysis of Salvini’s and the party’s Facebook posts, as well as interviews with regional leaders. It argues that, under Salvini’s personal style of leadership: (a) regionalism has been replaced by an empty form of nativist nationalism, which fails to address socio-economic issues related to the North–South divide; (b) populism remains central to the party’s strategic communication, but the EU has taken Rome’s place as the people’s ‘enemy’; (c) this ideological shift has paid-off at the 2018 general election, but is underpinned by latent fractures between the leader and regional representatives which could have profound implications in the future.

'No regionalism please, we are Leghisti!' The transformation of the Italian Lega Nord under the leadership of Matteo Salvini

Daniele Albertazzi
;
Arianna Giovannini;
2018

Abstract

Whilst the Lega Nord has traditionally been defined as a regionalist populist party, since Matteo Salvini became its leader in 2013 it has undergone a process of profound ideological transformation. This article assesses this momentous change and the impact it could have on the future of the Lega, drawing on a content analysis of Salvini’s and the party’s Facebook posts, as well as interviews with regional leaders. It argues that, under Salvini’s personal style of leadership: (a) regionalism has been replaced by an empty form of nativist nationalism, which fails to address socio-economic issues related to the North–South divide; (b) populism remains central to the party’s strategic communication, but the EU has taken Rome’s place as the people’s ‘enemy’; (c) this ideological shift has paid-off at the 2018 general election, but is underpinned by latent fractures between the leader and regional representatives which could have profound implications in the future.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2727755
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